Money’s so weird, isn’t it. I was telling another friend the other day that I have this thing a lot of Americans of my socioeconomic class have where I don’t view doctors/hospitals as providers of health care, but rather as providers of economic ruin. We have had great insurance for more than a decade and the only time I have gone to the doctor was when I was pregnant, and when I was so ill I thought I was going to lose consciousness.

Lost, age 3: happiness.

Found, age 6: romantic love, in the form of a boy I met at Will Rogers Park, who didn’t speak English. Italian or Portuguese, maybe? One would hiss, pretending to be a snake, and the other would pretend to be frightened, as an excuse to hold hands.

Lost, age10: the warmth of friendship, specifically that of my two best friends, April and Trish, who defended me against Kelly, a little bastard who tried to turn my classmates against me, “She’s Iran, let’s kill her.” Even at age ten I loathed him more for his crappy English than for his violence and racism.

Found, age 17: a stuttering pride in periodically performing spectacularly in school, as a sort of nose-thumbing at the whole rotten system.

Lost, age 22: last shreds of belief in my own ability.

Found, age 26: love, for the first time in twenty years.

Lost, age 27: fear of swimming, and the sense that fears are unconquerable.

Found, age 34: hope for a second life, an adult life, shaped by my will and desire rather than my history.

Lost, age 36: the body I learned to swim in, learned to love in.

Found, age 36: a body in which to be a mother.

Lost, age 40: almost all of my books, and with them my sense of myself as the person who walked in the park, hand in hand with my first love, a person shielded and formed by books.

Found, age 43: something new. Someone new. Not sure who.

  1. Choose your weapon: Defriending makes it it easier. You don’t have to see posts and wonder whether you should respond to them. You don’t have to look at the familiar features of the relationship, made horrible by being drained of life. You don’t have keep reminding yourself that your friend is technically correct even as you feel a blistering fury at being spoken to like you don’t even know each other.
  2. Aim for the head: Because the heart isn’t beating any longer. The body moves, but keep reminding yourself: the zombie is dead already. Cut off the contact points, fall silent where you’d have spoken. Ghosting won’t hurt something that can’t feel.
  3. Don’t miss: because remember, even though the zombie doesn’t notice, even though the zombie doesn’t care, it’s still going to try to eat your brain. That’s its nature.

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 me:  I invented a word today, too.
 Husband:  What does that mean?
 me:  When another mom overhears you talking to your kid and launches into a detailed backstory in support of whatever you just said.
 Husband:  Haha
 me:  Gal at Target with a teen daughter heard kiddo say she wanted straight hair, and heard me tell her everybody with straight hair wants curly hair.
Lady went into a loooong spiel about how she wishes she had nice loose curls like kiddo’s.
She was af-am with straightened hair.
It was so funny and cute.
her daughter kept giggling.
 Husband:  Haha

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